eLearning-DTN Print


Introduction The European Digital Agenda aims to give all Europeans basic broadband by 2013. The Commission recognizes that it is important that rural and remote areas are not excluded when the Agenda is implemented. e-Learning DTN transfers knowledge from an EU FP7 project and will develop an e-Learning course on how to build DTN based internet access, which is a new way to establish ICT access that suits self-governed initiatives by NGOs and citizens in remote and rural areas.

Summary N4C (Networking for Communications Challenged Communities: Architecture, Test Beds and Innovative Alliances) was a FP7 project in which the partners developed internet for remote regions where it is not simple or not cheap or, even feasible to gain access in any of the conventional ways. N4C used Delay and Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) technology. In eLearning-DTN the project team aims to offer information on how to build DTN based internet access, thus transferring knowledge from N4C to new audiences. The project pays attention to the course content being inclusive for all and that when ICT is developed and implemented, it is important to apply a gender equality perspective and to promote gender equality policies.

Detailed description The project N4C (Networking for Communications Challenged Communities: Architecture, Test Beds and Innovative Alliances) is a FP7 project coordinated by LTU. N4C aims to develop and test a broadband like network with use of Delay and Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) a technology for nomadic and rural use where there is need for an computerized messaging service. Target for N4C is regions that do not have access to the optical fibres, copper cables, radio waves and satellite.  The N4C aims to extend Internet access to people, businesses and authorities operating in these remote locations. Remote regions are often vast and sparsely populated, with a relatively poor economic base so that deployment of conventional technologies is not viable. The  DTN using an extended 'store and forward' paradigm to move ‘bundles’ of data across a DTN region of the network. A local connection between a pair of nodes can move a bundle, using only local protocol exchanges.  This avoids the need for constant connectivity and the multiple end-to-end exchanges on the Internet, which could delay delivery.  The technology is developed and now under deployment. N4C has attracted a lot of interest in Sweden and Slovenia where the test beds are under development and internationally. Request to cooperation has come after an invitation by Brazilian government, and by research teams working with climate issues in Alaska.


DTN is distributed Open Source Software (OSS). There is an urgent need to get training modules so the technology can be used and implemented. The test bed N4C is envolved in has demonstrated this need both in schools and among rural SMEs and NGOs. The suggested eLearning course - How to build and implement DTN based internet access with gender and cultural sensitive approach aims to target people (SMEs, NGOs, etc. and schools, teachers, training colleges) who need communication. The aim with eLearning DTN is to give them  knowledge so they can build DTN based internet access. The couse can be used in schools but also among peopel studying on line.  The training is directed to people with no ICT training (i.e. less than average ICT skill). N4C has used commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware’s that can be bought in any electronic store in the network. The course will therfore be offered in package with COTS equipment but the module will also be offered without hardwares.


The course will contain 7 modules;

1. How to start – what you need in form of ICT software and other equipment

2. How to implement software

3. How to build your network – people, mules and nodes.

4. Working with people in deployment - how to recruit user,

5. Case: A Deployment to NGO in Swedish Lapland,

6. Case: B Environmental deployment,

7. Case C How SME and NGO can deploy/make businesses on DTN.  


Suggested WP:

1. Project management

2. DTN Modules

3. ICT

4. Tests

5. Evaluation and Quality Assurance

6. Valorisation/Exploitation/